Bronnie died today and it is something my youngest daughter, Morgan, said recently which informs my thoughts eight years on.
She and her brother recently met up with two of Bronnie’s oldest and closest friends. In recounting the visit, she regaled me with tales of her father his friends had brought over with them from the USA. Stories I knew well, worn smooth with laughter in years of re-telling.
Her new favourite story of her father is one from his youth where he had somehow managed to save up for a used and battered fire engine. The same fire engine which caught fire as he proudly drove it through his then hometown!
After the visit, Morgan observed that the window for learning about her father the man is getting smaller as the circle of people who knew him must inevitably get smaller.
I have always held that a person only truly dies when we stop talking about them. A clichéd thought, perhaps, but one given new meaning in light of my daughter’s thoughts.
To think that when I die my children lose not only their mother, but also the stories that die with me if left untold.
Looking at the flower delivery which has just arrived from Morgan and Hart, I can gift them a story in return.
The flowers include daffodils, and every year Bronnie would be the first person to give me a bunch to herald the break in winter.
This the children will remember, but they won’t know it’s because in our courting days Bronnie went on a scavenger hunt through my friends to find out my favourite time of year. On finding out it was Spring, he started the tradition of annually buying me daffodils.
Had Morgan not voiced her thoughts on stories of her father, it would never have occurred to me to recount such a simple tale this 15th of January 2018 – eight years after Bronnie’s death.